The aim of private higher education institutions should be to provide affordable and quality education for public good and not only to earn profit, Vice Chancellor of O P Jindal Global University C Raj Kumar has said. He also said that the jurisprudential foundations of the ‘not-for-profit’ character of an institution should not be confused with the ability of institutions to determine their fee structure and the compensation they can pay to staff. “The critical aspect of non-profit is that the additional income generated by the institution is retained and used for its development. This is typically used for research initiatives, scholarships and fellowships, as well as infrastructure development,” Kumar said while speaking at the Hamburg Transnational University Leaders Council in Germany.
The Haryana-based university, which provided the details of the event said that the Vice Chancellor in his speech highlighted the need for providing good and affordable education through the participation of public and non-profit private sectors. “It is important to note that higher education institutions including universities ought to be not for profit private institutions. The availability of good quality higher education that is affordable, accessible, and that promotes equity and efficiency, is an essential public good, which needs to be promoted by public and non-profit private sector initiatives,” Kumar was quoted as saying.
In a three-day conference organised at Hamburg, the presidents and rectors of around 60 leading research universities in the world passed ‘Hamburg Protocol’ which deals with a set of values to be preserved to confront the challenges faced by higher education systems in the world.
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The statement said that the programme was organised to initiate a dialogue among global university leaders on the threats to autonomy of varsities and academic freedom, questions of access to higher education and financing of university teaching and research among many others. The forum considered the challenges of private higher education in the public interest and deliberated on adequate funding and control mechanisms of national post-secondary systems.
Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) and O P Jindal Global University (JGU) were the only two Indian institutions that participated in the conference held from June 7. The first Council was hosted in June 2015 and university leaders from about 60 leading research varsities had gathered.